The reality and myth of rape: Implications for the criminal justice system


Edward KE & MacLeod M (1999) The reality and myth of rape: Implications for the criminal justice system. Expert Evidence, 7 (1), pp. 37-58.

This article sets out to evaluate the research evidence for rape myths and the extent to which they are causally related to rape proclivity; negative attitudes towards rape victims; and the reporting of sexual assault incidents to the police. In reviewing this literature, we provide an evaluation of the impact of this research on the criminal justice system and possible future developments. We argue that this research, while failing to provide conclusive evidence of a causal relationship, has nevertheless played an important part in shaping more sympathetic approaches towards rape victims in the criminal justice system. However, we also argue that the current research falls short of the level of proof required for it to be admitted as evidence in criminal trials. We consider a number of alternative uses including Amicus Curiae briefs, and the training of juries and judges prior to hearing rape cases.

expert evidence; rape; rape myths; reporting; stereotypes

Expert Evidence: Volume 7, Issue 1

Publication date31/03/1999
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers